What Sort Of Orphan Will I Be?


mother and son

Happy days between mother and son.

One of the great benefits of social media is our opportunity to  strengthen old ties, deepen relationships with the extended family we only ever used to see at weddings and funerals and to make new friendships with people we may never meet in real life.

A side effect is the fact that the peoples lives with whom we’ve woven greater entanglement will have stuff happen to them that we may never have been aware of before. This means  that both the congratulations and commiserations are felt by a wider, deeper group of people and those events mean we have more opportunities than ever to reflect on our earth bound journeys, those of others and their effects on each us individually and as a part of a whole.

It was a tough time this week for a number of people in my life. One family lost their first parent while two others lost their remaining parents. They’d effectively become orphans.

In a perfect world, all children would farewell their parents, who had already enjoyed their tenure as grandparents for many years before leaving this world, when they were very old. Unfortunately, life is not so kind and some kids lose their parents before they’re even old enough to understand what death means.

And ideally, all children would have wonderful relationships with their parents.

I was not ready to say goodbye to my dad when he died at the age of 53 and though I was an adult, his death hit me in a manner that took me 18 months to recover from and even more years before I got to comprehend the opportunity I had been given.

When my dad died, I was lucky enough to have a really great relationship with a man that I loved dearly, not just as a parent but as a friend and fellow male. He was a great role model for me and my siblings in many ways. So, when he died, there was no great yearning for a relationship that had never been.

Had it been my mother that had died, then there would exist to this very day a great heart ache that would never be filled. My mother and I have always struggled in our relationship. And it got worse immediately after my dad died as I couldn’t justify why the parent I was left with was the one that I struggled to hold down a conversation with.

As many women will relate to, my relationship with my mother got better when I had kids of my own. I started to understand some of the decisions she had made and having kids gave me reasons to call her. Sometimes, it’s for my girls to say thanks to Grandma for their presents and others it’s just so they can say hi.

One day, my mother will die and I too will become an orphan. By then, I would love nothing more than to have the same relationship with her as I did with my dad.

Because every little boy should miss his mum.

7 thoughts on “What Sort Of Orphan Will I Be?

  1. Charmaine Woods

    Rodney…..that is a lovely piece……you certainly know how to put the right words together and make those who read it think about their relationships…….
    I never knew my biological mother until I was 16 and pregnant, what a shock for her…and then lost her at the age of 63….but that was the loss of my SECOND mother, I had already gone through the heartache of losing the one that took on the mother role from when I was just a few months old….and what a devastating event when you lose a parent as we think they will always be around….that too took me over a year to come to terms with, medication helped as well.
    I wont go in to it too much on here as there a lot that don’t know…but I am too an orphan now..and it is when both parents have gone that (or I do) this is the time we GROW UP and really feel like and adult…and cherish the time we have with OUR children

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Thank You for sharing your story Charmaine. I think we grew up in a family that is very similar to many others in that, if our forebears spent less time worrying about what the committee called “they” thought, there’d be a lot less pain. I am thankful that my children are growing up in a time that encourages openness and sharing. With fewer secrets perhaps we can all feel the love that is intended.
      much love cuz.

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  2. Krishna_Everson (@KrishnaEverson)

    Watching my mum pass last week was witnessing the life flow from a vital and wonderful woman who was loved by many. She fought to the very end. She didn’t want to leave, and is now with my dad who she loved dearly. She was my adopted mum, her sister was my biological mother, who was also present by her bedside when she went. So I am an orphan, but I’m not an orphan! It’s very weird. Now that both my parents are gone, I feel like I’m a grown up now, exactly like Charmaine has said. I’m not someone’s daughter anymore, and mum isn’t there to take up the slack, offer advice, water my plants, help with the kids, do crafts with my daughter, teach my son life skills, bake, take the kids swimming, tend her garden, be an advisor to carers. So many things. The difficult thing is it happened so fast (6 months), by the time of her diagnosis she was in stage 4 cancer, and seemed to change overnight. Her fear of death was a big issue too. I’m struggling with that. That she was fearful. But she’s at peace now. That’s the most important thing. Her service is on Friday. Love to you darling Rodney. xx

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    1. Amanda Foy

      Krishna and Rod, I have a welling of emotion in my throat for you both. The loss of a beloved mother and the pending loss of a mother where the relationship isn’t where it’s expected to be and I’m guessing the fear of having to deal with a whole heap of other stuff unsaid if that were to happen.

      Krishna, her fear evaporated as soon as the transition process began because your dad was right there with her, so you rest your mind that her fear on this plain was short lived as soon as the process began. They show him standing there with her and his hand on your shoulder trying to help you through your pain. He can make his arm longggg. 🙂 Checked shirt and jeans? They want you to release that burden.

      When somebody dies, a cloud turns into an angel, and flies up to tell God to put another flower on a pillow. A bird gives the message back to the world, and sings a silent prayer that makes the rain cry. People disappear, but they never really go away. The spirits up there put the sun to bed, wake up grass, and spin the earth in dizzy circles. Sometimes you can see them dancing in a cloud during the daytime, when they’re supposed to be sleeping. They paint the rainbows and also the sunsets and make waves splash and tug at the tide. They toss shooting stars and listen to wishes. And, when they sing wind-songs, they whisper to us,
      don’t miss me too much. The view is nice and I am doing just fine.

      xx

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  3. Amanda Foy

    Rodney… making peace with the fact that his lifetime this might not happen will be your biggest saving grace. Surrender to the relationship in this lifetime and you will know peace AND see the gift clearly. xxx

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